U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states fell in January to the lowest level since March 2012 as gas-plant maintenance and frigid weather hampered output, a government report today showed.
Production in the lower 48 states slid 0.9 percent to 72.1 billion cubic feet a day from a revised 72.77 billion in December, the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration said in the monthly EIA-914 report. Output was down 0.8 percent in January from a year earlier.
Total U.S. output, including Alaska, declined 0.8 percent to 82 billion cubic feet a day in January from a revised 82.64 billion the previous month, the report showed. Production was down 1.2 percent from January 2012.
“Louisiana had the largest decrease,” because of gas plant maintenance, the EIA said in the report. New Mexico and Wyoming slid because cold weather shut some production. “Other states showed an increase of 0.5 percent, or 0.13 billion cubic feet a day, as new wells continued to come online in the Marcellus shale play.”
Louisiana output declined 3.8 percent to 7.18 billion cubic feet a day in January and supplies in Texas, the biggest producing state, dropped 0.3 percent to 21.8 billion cubic feet a day. Daily output in the Gulf of Mexico slid 2.4 percent to 4.08 billion cubic feet.
Supplies from the “other states” category, which includes the Marcellus shale deposit in the Northeast, advanced 0.5 percent to 24.32 billion cubic feet a day from 24.19 billion in December. Production in January was a record in government data going back to 2005.
Oklahoma output grew by 0.4 percent to 5.71 billion cubic feet a day while production in Wyoming dropped 3.2 percent to 5.73 billion.
Natural gas futures for May delivery fell 4.4 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $4.024 per million British thermal units yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The fuel gained 20 percent in the first quarter. Markets are closed today for Good Friday.
The EIA-914 report covers gross withdrawals, which include gas used for repressuring, quantities vented and flared, and non-hydrocarbon gas removed in treating or processing operations.